One of the most famous and best options you can play in a casino – blackjack is a staple game in any online casino. As well as enjoying excellent graphics, sound effects and round the clock availability, online players in the UK can benefit from increased accessibility and a range of special features, including progressive jackpots and special promotional bonuses.
Our online blackjack casino options are designed to suit the modern, busy lifestyle. Available all year round, at all times of the day, these games are ready for you to play on desktop or mobile whenever it suits you. We offer a number of variations on the game, including Blackjack Surrender, Lucky Blackjack and Pontoon, along with a whole host of other exciting blackjack games.
Although there are several variations, Blackjack 21 is a card game in which the aim is to beat the dealer’s hand. Cards displaying numbers two through to 10 are worth face value, picture cards are valued at 10, and aces can be either one or 11. To win, the player must get as close to 21 without exceeding that number and beat the hand of the dealer. If two cards make up 21, you have the best hand of all - blackjack.
The game starts with both player and dealer alternately receiving two cards each. Usually, both of the player’s cards are dealt face up, although in some cases they are both face down so that they are hidden from the dealer’s eyes. The dealer has one card face up and the other face down, which is also known as the hole card. The player can now choose to draw more cards in the pursuit of getting as close to 21 without busting.
Blackjack was originally called vingt-et-un (the literal translation meaning 21), and was played with a single deck of cards across the casinos of France. Although this game established the basic rules underpinning all variations of blackjack – with Napoleon an avid fan – it didn’t grow particularly popular because of its poor payout structure. In vingt-et-un, there was no 3:2 payout for hitting 21 – and every winning hand paid out at the same even money odds.
This changed when the game travelled to the US, and the blackjack hand payout changed to 3:2. The increased payout strategy secured increased popularity, and the new name was adopted. As popularity grew and its reach spread geographically, the way in which the game was played altered. It adapted to suit the immediate audience, creating many different variations.
With the dawn of the internet even more possibilities opened up in terms of accessibility and rules, as casinos moved online and free games became available via Practice mode (no deposit needed). Over the course of time, different casino sites adopted different house styles, and there are variations around the globe on the number of decks used in the game and the number on which a dealer or player must stand.
Over time, the best possible technology enabled many aspects of the original game to be altered, improved and restructured to create a more exciting all-round experience. For instance, technology created exciting real money options, including paypal, progressive jackpots and improved video streaming. This allowed for live dealer versions – the closest you’ll get to an actual bricks and mortar experience. For the players, this meant that each different game required a different strategy, and so extra fun was possible.
Another aspect in the evolution of online Blackjack comes down to the advances of modern communications. Mobile devices have improved so rapidly that players can now enjoy the very best in online action on the move with our UK mobile casino. It boasts excellent connectivity and a fully responsive interface designed to suit your mobile device to perfection, while adhering to its functionality. Mobile games are available to play for real money and for free in demo mode on our mobile site and app.
When you play online blackjack, you receive an even money (1:1) payout for any winning hand that is not blackjack. This payout increases to 2:1 for a winning insurance bet, and 3:2 for a winning two-card hand that totals the maximum points value. As with all casino games, the lower the payout for a winning combination – the better chance you have of succeeding in hitting that combination. This means that the odds of hitting blackjack are much lower, but for this reason it pays better than hitting any other winning hand.
Blackjack is straightforward and easy to learn, and the basic concepts underpin all the different variations. So once you’ve taken some time to learn the basics, you can go ahead and enjoy any online blackjack game with very little extra effort. When playing blackjack, your aim is to beat the dealer with the best possible hand, using the fewest cards.
To start playing, click on your blackjack game of choice, set your bet amount and wait for your two hole cards. These are the cards that you play against the dealer. The player always goes first and you have to decide whether to ‘hit’ to improve your hand, or ‘stand’ to keep the cards you have (if you think it can win), so you don’t run the risk of going bust. All face cards have a point-value of ten and the Ace can be worth either 1 or 11 points, depending on what suits your hand.
Because Aces are flexible you will at some point come across a soft 17. For example, drawing an Ace and a six means the player can draw an additional card without going bust because the total value of the cards is either seven or 17. On the other hand, drawing either a picture card or a 10 and a seven is termed a hard 17 because drawing an extra card could result in a bust hand.
You may have the option of additional moves – depending upon the game you have chosen and the decisions you have made – which will automatically show on your screen if they are possible. For instance, you might get the chance to split. This is where you separate your pairs into two hands, or double, which means multiplying your bet x2 on the strength of a single turn. If you choose to surrender, you opt to lose half of your wager instead of playing the hand you’ve been dealt. There is also insurance, which is a side bet that offers protection from the dealer hitting blackjack. When the dealer draws an Ace you will be offered the chance to put down half of your original stake as an insurance bet. If the dealer immediately hits a 10 or picture card you will receive 2:1. If the dealer does not have blackjack, your insurance bet is lost.
After your betting round, the dealer will play his hand. Note: the house variations of our online blackjack state that the dealer draws to 16 and stands on all 17s. When the game is finished, our software compares the two hands and if you’ve won, your winnings are automatically transferred to your casino bankroll.
If you’re wondering how to win, it’s easy: your hand must be better than the dealer’s. Winning hands can either be blackjack, or any hand that is as close to 21 as possible, hasn’t gone bust and is higher in its points total than that of the dealer. You lose the game outright if your hand goes bust with a total that exceeds the max, if you finish with a hand that is weaker than the dealer’s, or if the dealer hits blackjack.
These are just some of the most popular online blackjack variants that we offer:
Lucky Blackjack: The aim of Lucky Blackjack is for the player to guess the hand value of the dealer’s cards. The player does not receive any cards, so the outcome of the game is based only on the dealer’s hand. This is an excellent choice of variant for any blackjack enthusiast looking for something a bit different.
Pontoon: The name Pontoon refers to the extra winning hand that is allowed in this game. If you manage to hit a five-card hand that doesn’t have a points value of more than the maximum amount, you automatically beat the dealer. The payout for this Pontoon hand is 2:1. If your hand ties with that of the dealer – including Pontoon – the result is a push and your stake is returned back to your casino bankroll.
Progressive Blackjack: This is the same as standard blackjack, with the player pitting their cards against those of the dealer. The only difference is that you have the bonus option to pay into the progressive side bet that allows you to play for the randomly triggered progressive jackpot.
Blackjack Surrender: This game is played against the dealer following the standard format, but you have the option to swap the cards you are dealt if you would prefer a different hand. There is also the addition of the seven-card Charlie! This seven-card hand automatically wins over the dealer’s hand if you don’t go bust.
21 Duel Blackjack: This six-deck game follows the standard format, only the dealer has to qualify to play. There is also the ‘2 Up’ side bet option. The 2 Up side bet is completely separate to your hand – you are betting on the possibility that the community cards and your face-up card will make a pair or three of a kind. A pair pays out at 3:1, while three of a kind pays at 20:1 payout.
Knowing the software buttons will help you to play your blackjack UK online game with ease, making your overall casino experience much more enjoyable and fun. The buttons you need to know are as follows:
Clear Bets: This will remove all the bets you have placed before the cards are dealt.
Undo: This will clear the last bet you placed on the table.
Deal: Hit this to deal cards to both the player and the dealer.
Hit: Request another card to try and improve your hand.
Stand: You stand when you do not want to add any more cards to your hand.
Double: This doubles your bet and you receive one more card to determine the outcome of your hand and complete your turn.
Insurance: An optional bet when the dealer shows an ace. It costs half of your original bet and protects you if the dealer gets blackjack. In this instance, you’re covered. If not, you lose the insurance bet.
Split: When you have a pair, you can opt to split them into two separate hands. The number of splits you are allowed is stated in each set of individual rules.
When a game round is completed, you will also receive the following options:
New Game: If you click this, the table will be cleared of the last game and a new game begins, so you start again by placing your bets.
Rebet: Use this option if you want to place the same stake as the previous game.
Rebet and Deal: Click this if you want to repeat your bet amount from the last game, with the cards automatically dealt.
These terms are used as standard during online blackjack rounds, so make sure you familiarise yourself with the words and their meanings to improve your overall online entertainment experience and enjoy the fun.
Blackjack: The name given to a winning two-card hand containing an ace and a black jack.
Bust: When your hand exceeds a points total of 21 – a losing hand.
Double/Double Down: The option to place an additional bet, equal to your original bet, and draw one more card – only offered with your initial two cards.
Hole Card: Cards that are dealt face down.
Peek: A feature in certain blackjack variants that allows the dealer to check if they have blackjack when their face-up card is worth 10. If they have blackjack, you lose.
Push: This means it’s a draw so you receive your stake money back.
Surrender: Taking the option to give up only half of your bet instead of playing the hand if you don’t think you will win.
Note: You can also learn further useful terminology in the ‘Game Buttons’ section above.
To create an account, simply click on ‘Play For Real’ on a game, or ‘Join Now’ at the top of the screen, and fill in the details requested. Once you have entered the necessary information, read and accept the terms and conditions and then click on Create – and your account will be activated right away.
You will then need to make a deposit to play in our real money casino. We offer a variety of deposit methods, including credit card, debit card, and online e-wallets based on the paypal model. Select your preferred option, deposit the amount you wish to play with and you can then access our lobby to play to win actual cash. If you’re a new player making your initial deposit, you can also claim up to £400 (plus 200 free spins) with our special Welcome Bonus – simply accept your bonus once you have deposited your funds.